Workshop "Psychology's next crisis is a measurement crisis: On psychological constructs and how to measure them"

Abstract: While Open Science practices are increasingly adopted in Psychology, a looming Crisis of Measurement provides a fundamental obstacle to replicability efforts. Most psychological theories are "verbal models": narrative explanations of a psychological phenomenon. Because of the vagaries of language, these theories are vulnerable to hidden assumptions and shortcomings, and is is therefore often unclear how to properly conceptualize, operationalize, or measure the constructs that theories contain. In addition to this confusion on what to measure, new standards such as pre-registrations are aimed to improve cumulative psychological science by helping us to define our research questions and how we will answer them a priori. however, one crucial topic has received limited attention so far: Questionable Measurement Practices (QMPs). I will discuss examples of QMPs in the psychological literature, and describe how they connect to larger issues of transparency, replicability, and reproducibility. I will show that planning and transparency can prevent QMPs and improve the validity of your work, and outline techniques for promoting measurement transparency that participants can apply to their research. In the hands-on part of the workshop, we will discuss measures of important constructs from your own research fields, analyze these instruments based on what you learned in the workshop, and develop a roadmap on how to improve measurement practices regarding these instruments.

Assignments for preparation:

Voluntary reading assignment to prepare for the workshop: Flake, J. K., Pek, J., & Hehman, E. (2017). Construct validation in social and personality research: Current practice and recommendations. Social Psychology and Personality Science, 8, 370-378.

Date: Friday, 29th April 2022 (9.15 to ca. 17 hrs.)

Venue: online workshop at your own computer/laptop


Prof. Eiko Fried, Ph.D., Clinical Psychology at Universiteit Leiden (The Netherlands)


Registration for this event

Please use the following web form to register for this event until 15th April 2022. Maximally 24 participants can be admitted.

Registration is open to doctoral students from the departments of Psychology, Educational Science, and Sports Science at Saarland University. Postdoctoral researchers from these departments may also sign in and may participate provided there are spaces available (they will be informed about their possibility to indeed participate after the aforementioned deadline for registration).